The third stop on our cheese journey takes us to the small village of Doren in Austria’s Bregenz Forest. Doren lies in the Alpine region where the corners of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland meet – a region known for aged cow’s milk cheeses.
Sennerei Huban was founded in 1901 as Austria’s first cheese vocational school and sources milk from a cooperative of 34 dairy farms. The cooperative members have 15 cows on average, mainly Brown Swiss, that are on pasture all summer and are fed alpine hay when there’s snow on the ground. The dairy mainly makes cheeses that are consumed in the region – their production is focused on Emmentaler and Bergkäse. Alp Blossom is the dairy’s most special cheese, an aged wheel of cow’s milk cheese coated in herbs and flowers from the region. This style of cheese is seasonally available in Bavaria and the Bregenz but is rarely exported.
I discovered this beautiful cheese while attending Slow Food’s Biennial Cheese Festival in Bra, Italy. It was a warm day in the middle of last September and I bumped into Norbert Sieghart, the exporter of Alp Blossom. Norbert selects the best cheeses from the Bavarian and Austrian Alps and operates some of the best cheese stalls in Berlin’s Market Halls. Norbert promised me cold beer and tastes of several of his newest cheese finds. Alp Blossom stood out more than any offering at his booth – the blanket of purple and yellow flowers really grabbed my attention. The paste of the cheese was silky smooth and the flavors were long and rich. The coating of flowers and herbs not only made the cheese visually stunning, they imparted an herbaceous essence to the paste.
It’s been over 8 months since I first tasted this cheese and am excited I was able to secure a few wheels for our Cheese Trek adventure. I’d recommend enjoying Alp Blossom with any Bavarian beer – I first tasted the cheese while drinking a Pilsner. A bottle of Riesling would be great, too, as Rieslings always pair well with aged cow’s milk cheeses from the Alps.
The next stop on our Cheese Trek is the Chattahoochee Hill Country of Georgia for one of the most coveted sheep’s milk cheeses being crafted in America. Look for this next exciting cheese on the Market’s shelves on June 23rd. Visit the Markets and talk to a cheese monger to see how you can join the Cheese Trek and #cheeseyourownadventure today!